Saturday 20 January 2018

Even Barcelona fear playing us at home, claims confident Toure

Yaya Toure has warned league leaders Liverpool they should fear a St Stephen's Day trip to the Etihad Stadium
Yaya Toure has warned league leaders Liverpool they should fear a St Stephen's Day trip to the Etihad Stadium

Simon Stone

Manchester City midfielder Yaya Toure has warned league leaders Liverpool they should fear a St Stephen's Day trip to the Etihad Stadium as even Barcelona are afraid of them.

The Merseysiders arrive today full of confidence as they are top of the table at Christmas for the first time in five years.

They are actually the last club to be in that position and not go on to win the title but despite rising optimism at Anfield, Toure sounded a word of caution.

Having been drawn against Barcelona in the knockout stage of the Champions League, Toure believes that the Catalan club are not relishing the draw.

"The way we are playing at home -- and they are seeing that -- means they are quite scared because we play fantastic football, we score goals and it is total attack.

"We are not the sort of team that is fearful of opponents, we are playing in an attractive way and an attacking way, and I think Liverpool will be aware of that."

City have won all eight home league games -- scoring 35 goals -- and they are only in third place, one point behind Liverpool due to their inferior away form.

Striker Sergio Aguero has scored eight of his 13 league goals at the Etihad but a calf injury forces him to miss out, while Liverpool's Luis Suarez is in the form of his life with 19 goals in 12 league games.

Liverpool's progress to the top of the table has been unexpected considering they have finished seventh, eighth, sixth and seventh since finishing runners-up to Manchester United in the 2008-09 season.

But Toure said that did not mean they should be under-estimated: "They have always been a big club and maybe it is a surprise that they haven't been up there for a few years but these clubs always return, and that's what is happening at Liverpool."

City boss Manuel Pellegrini has come in for some criticism for their away form, which has seen them lose matches at Cardiff, Aston Villa and Chelsea, but Toure insists the Chilean has developed them into a better side.

"The manager has turned us into an amazing team. The football is amazing," he said.

"Pellegrini is doing really well in that respect. It's not easy to have time for everyone as you have a squad of 30 players, but he gives everyone confidence, whether they are in the starting 11 or not."

Irish Independent

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